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Submitters - Website Best Practices

Best practices for article/event/weblink submission

Questions

Answers

What do you mean by "Website Best Practices"?

This section is about ways to facilitate the sharing of information from your website so that your information can appear on our pages with the utmost of ease possible (or, for that matter, any other media site such as ours).

The ideal is to have information easily shared/quoted and copy/pasted to media sites (such as ours) in order to market your site. The transfer of information should be made as easily for both you and the recipient media site and avoid any steps or webpage setups where extra work is necessary from which to get the information. (Note: The real test to this is for you to try to create an article from your webpages to another blank page (for example, a word processor page) to see how many steps are needed to collect information from your pages; then test-try other early music sites to compare.)

Best Practices

  • for sections of your site where you would like media organizations such as EarlyMusicNews.org to publish details on its pages, try to have them in a web format where “copy/paste” is possible. Although your website pages may look great with interactive content, such pages will often make copy/paste of text impossible, and, delay any posting of events/materials of your site for marketing purposes on site such as EarlyMusicNews.org. Simply said, sites where the information is easy to “copy/paste” are usually first in line for posting -- if you make it difficult to copy text, then, delays in publishing important details of your events will be slower to make it to media sites such as ours.

  • should you like to share information found on your website, adopt a copyright license that favours the sharing of information in a way that still promotes your site. One such license is the “Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported (CC BY-SA 3.0) (or later)” -- this license is used by such large groups as the LibreOffice.org – Documents Section, Flickr, the US Whitehouse.gov website, section (some of other sites may be found here). In this case, “attribution” could (for sites such as EarlyMusicNews.org) would be as simple as quoting material on your pages and giving credit back to you in the form of a weblink redirecting the reader back to your site OR by crediting you by name. A redirecting weblink is more favourable as this will expose your site to more visitors and perhaps gain you more concert-audience individuals or increase traffic and “web recognition” of your site.

  • if you would like to manage the information on your site in a stricter fashion, have a “Media” section where materials of your group is either copy/paste-able or ready for download with accompanying copyright permissions.

  • have an “About” (”About us”) section that has a description of your group/organization.

  • events should have a clearly indicated date format. The dates should always include not only the day and month but ALSO the year.

  • finally, many groups make good use of keeping in touch with their regular ticket holders and media partners (such as EarlyMusicNews.org) by publishing a regular newsletter. The frequency of mailouts varies from group to group: some of the more active groups will mailout as often as twice monthly, but most will mailout a newsletter a few weeks prior to an upcoming event. Newsletters are extremely good communication tools available to music groups. These newsletters could be as simple as a regular email sent to your ticket-holder base and media organizations or as formal as newsletters managed by professional media groups. If you are not publishing a newsletter, you may want to consider looking at this as a possible marketing option.

  • Keeping communication lines open: if there is ever any of your group/organization’s information posted that you would like removed/corrected, please do approach our site admin or webmaster and request its removal. You will find that in ALL cases, your request will be observed and the material in question will be removed within a reasonable delay of time (usually as soon as the request is received by the admin/webmaster).  The email addresses are: Admin@EarlyMusicNews.org  or Webmaster@EarlyMusicNews.org  

On a personal note, I have found that the majority of individuals/groups/organizations have been more than willing to have their website/webpage content quoted (when used in context) and posted on our pages with redirection to their site. This has added some additional traffic to their site and added more web presence to their effort. The majority view this “sharing of information” good marketing strategy on “getting the word out” of their early music contributions. -- Marc Paré (Editor/Admin)


Have you noticed any trends that would help in promoting our group's website? What are other people using to promote their site?

Trends that have been noticed are (1 feb 2012) (* our recommendations are noted in each section):

  • Website -- groups/associations
    • the vast majority of sites have a website, however, a small, but growing number of groups/associations are using Facebook as their only “web presence vehicle”. The vast amount of websites are mostly static (very few changes to the sites) other than updating of upcoming concert dates or their discography. Most will now have a button leading to secondary interactive vehicles such as Facebook, YouTube, MySpace etc.
    • * A website is highly recommended even if you have a Facebook account. Caveat: Facebook reaches 800 million users, HOWEVER, the vast majority of people are NOT on Facebook. Groups using Facebook as their main website will NOT reach those without a Facebook account. At the very least, groups/associations should have a website with corresponding domain name.

  • Domain Name
    • the vast majority of websites have a domain name corresponding to their own group/association name. For example: “EarlyMusicNew.org“ (our official name) is found by surfing by browsing to the “http://www.EarlyMusicNews.org” site; our parent company name is “parEntreprise” and may be found on the web at “http://www.parEntreprise.com”. However, a small segment of performance group have not as yet acquired a corresponding domain name, but these are in the minority.
    • * A corresponding domain name is highly recommended. It is also suggested that groups/organizations acquire the country code name instead of the .com/.org/.net unless you are anticipating bases in other countries. For example “NotaBeneBaroque”, based in Waterloo Ontario Canada, has acquired its corresponding Canadian country domain name and may be found at “http://www.NotaBeneBaroque.ca”. Using a corresponding country code domain name give the group additional branding and the general public will associate the site with the originating country base for the group. Should you wish to protect your group/association brand name, you may consider then acquiring the international .com/.net/org version of your domain name.
  • Website sound files
    • some websites make use of a music player offering excerpts of recorded music -- the music player offers visitors to “stop/pause/play the music. A growing segment is leaving full sound clips of complete movements. It seems the average number of sound files numbers around 5 clips, although, there seems to be growth in sites offering a larger variety of sound files making a visit to their site a better “auditory” experience. Some sites are offering website visitors mp3 sound clips without a player.
    • * Highly recommended especially for a group engaged in performance, the mp3 format is still the most preferred format, “vogg orbis” format is available to those who are worried about mp3 licensing issues.
  • Facebook site  (or alternatives to Facebook)
    • the vast majority of groups have a Facebook site. The groups make serious use of Facebook’s ease at “feeding” visitor’s attention/curiosity with updates. It seems that most groups/organizations will have specific individuals associated with the group/organization maintaining the sites on a regular weekly basis as well as monitoring the comments
    • *Highly recommended. Caveat: Facebook reaches 800 million users, HOWEVER, the vast majority of people are NOT on Facebook. Groups using Facebook as their main website will NOT reach those without a Facebook account.
  • Photo album site
    • the vast majority are posting photos on their site, a growing segment are using their Facebook sites as a photo repository, some are using photo upload sites for ease of use such a Google Picasa Web or FlickR etc.
    • * Highly recommended, especially if posted on a website. Visitors seem to appreciate photos greatly! Photos will also add face recognition to the group. Caveat: a Facebook album/photos reaches 800 million users, HOWEVER, the vast majority of people are NOT on Facebook. Groups using Facebook as their main photo repository will NOT reach those without a Facebook account.
  • YouTube site  (or alternatives to YouTube)
    • a fast growing segment of performance groups are using YouTube to promote their group by posting videos of some performances or  “pre-performance” events such as rehearsals or individual performances.
    • A very small segment are posting complete concerts on their site, however, this is highly unusual as such streams may ultimately slow the site down for other users or, may in fact use up the amount of allocated bandwidth to the site’s contracted download/upload agreement. In such cases, hosting services may close the site down temporarily until the site owner agrees to the purchase of further bandwidth.
    • * Recommended -- YouTube (or similar) account, especially if you are a performance group OR if you are not offering sound files on your website. NOT RECOMMENDED if the video is of poor quality as the visual message may affect the group negatively.
  • Electronic Newsletter (E-News)
    • larger groups are making effective use of their newsletter mailouts by targeting their ticket/audience user base. Unfortunately, the newsletter option is NOT used by the vast majority of performance groups. In order to use the newsletter option, a group must start collecting email addresses from audience members as well as advertise the newsletter on their website with an option of signing up to the newsletter is also necessary.
    • * Highly recommended for ALL groups. Targeted mailouts such as newsletters are very efficient marketing and promotion tools.
  • Twitter
    • some active groups are using Twitter, whereas the vast majority of sites are NOT making use of the“Twitter” option.  (* The Twitter option seems a little excessive for smaller groups where there is not enough interest from group members to “twitter” pertinent information to listeners)
    • * NOT RECOMMENDED unless groups are prepared to devote the time spent updating OFTEN.

  • Funding Strategies
    • most performance groups/associations are making use of some form of funding strategies. Most of these groups have a “Donate” button strategically placed on their websites.
    • * Highly recommended. Generally speaking, most of these groups have gained “non-profit” status, making use of tax exemption options.

  • Corporate Sponsoship
    • Most larger associations and some performance groups have garnered some form of corporate sponsorship to help with certain projects.
    • * Highly recommended if running a festival/workshop or for associations without corporate sponsorship. In most cases, corporate sponsorship will depend on the group achieving “non-profit” status.